Van Build: Maxxair Fan Frame – Installation

We had a little dilemma about what size to actually make the frame and cut the hole. The instruction said 400x400mm, but most people we watched actually cut it at 355x355mm.

Written By Freedom Strider

On March 1, 2020

To install our Maxxair Fan to our DIY Campervan conversion, we need to cut the correct sized hole and firstly build a DIY wooden frame, which is VITAL.

1

Figure out what size hole to cut

For our Maxxair Fan, we have a KI model, and the instruction said to cut a 400x400mm hole. However, the inside frame on the fan measures 355x355mm, and 90% of people we see installing it cut their hole and made their frame this size…gaaaarrrrrrhhhhhhh! 🤬

After calls to various companies, and a lot of staring at the underneath of the fan, we came to the conclusion it is best to go as instructed and cut the hole for our fan and the frame 400x400mm.

This way the screws used to attach the fan to the van, sink centrally into the frame securely (which is the main point of installing a frame). Also, although both sizes work fine, the 400x400mm is a little bit better for the waterproofing factor.

maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion

HOUSESIT

2

Mark and cut the wood

We used a 47x47cm square of wood to make our frame from.

We decided on using a lap joint to create the square frame, and thus needed 4 lengths of 49.4cm, which we cut using our Mitre Saw.

You can use other methods of joining the frame together, but we wanted to avoid using any screws.

This is because the screws that will be coming down into the frame from the Maxxfan could hit the screws we used to attach the frame together.

The lap joint seemed like the strongest, ‘semi-easy’ joint to do without the need of screws.

It still took us a whole afternoon, mainly given to sanding… 🕰️

maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion
maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion

TOP TIP

When cutting any piece of wood, always allow a couple of millimeters of excess for the thickness of the blade you are using to cut the wood.

3

Building a lap joint 101

On both ends of each wood length, we marked out a 47mm line from the edge of the wood, and we repeated that on all 4 sides.

We then split this in 2, and marked one half to be cut out.

When you lay the wood down, make sure to hash the top half on one side, and the bottom half on the other side, like a criss cross pattern. This way, you can fit any piece to any other for the best fit.

It’s really hard to explain this in text, so go watch the video for a visual aid.

We used our mitre saw to cut down half way (flipping the beam around to get an even cut) and used a hand saw to finish the job, cutting out the chunk…honestly this would have been much easier with a tablesaw.

Next, we used some hand files and a small power sander to smooth and even out the cuts, and dry fitted the 4 pieces together to make sure they fit and that the hole was the right size.

(luckily, it was) 😂

maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion
maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion
maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion

4

Joining wood without screws

We could have used wood glue, but it didn’t feel strong enough, so we used some Sikaflex Pro 3 instead (same stuff used to stick the wooden beams down to our van floor).

Overkill? Probably.

We then used some simple wood clamps to hold it together and left it to dry overnight.

maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion
maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion
maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion
maxxair fan - extraction fan - van conversion

quick look

Quick Steps Overview:

 

  1. Measure hole size
  2. Mark out and cut wood
  3. Use joint of choice to fit wooden frame together

NEXT VAN BUILD STEP

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